Today’s security threat landscape is defined by uncompromising and aggressive threats. In the past, most hackers were interested in gaining community recognition through their nasty attacks. But currently, the motive has switched towards making money, including holding data hostage until the owner pays a specified ransom.
These cybercriminals now focus on large-scale intellectual property theft. That is why protecting your systems and critical data is no longer an option; it is a core requirement.
Let’s face it. Figures from the IBM’s 2018 Cost of Data Breach shows that organizations spent an average of $3.86 million per data breach, which equates to around $148 per stolen record. The situation looks even scarier going into the future. According to Renub Research, the global cybersecurity market is expected to hit $164 billion by 2024.
In recognition of the change of events, Microsoft came up with Windows 10, which has multiple security features to make it harder for anyone to exploit system vulnerabilities. Windows 10 empowers modern devices to control security breaches and ransomware. Ideally, Windows 10 security tools strengthen protection for vulnerable networks. However, there are several features of this OS that can also open security holes.
Windows 10 integrates fully with cloud-based functionality. So, when you run the OS, you are likely to share more information with Microsoft than before. But there is nothing to worry about because Microsoft added more privacy settings, which can make it easy to enhance your privacy and security.
Microsoft designed Windows 10 to be the next-gen OS that supports the latest networking, messaging, and multimedia features, so you can imagine the number of security-related settings that are needed to protect your system. Fortunately, Microsoft has provided a straightforward way to manage security settings. Just protect your Windows 10 with security tools.
How to Strengthen Protection in Windows 10?
By default, Windows was designed to be secure, but you can still boost its security by enabling the minimum security settings. On top of this, there are a few more things to do to cover your bases. In the next section of this article, we will talk about some of the security tools that could help protect your computer, including some security components built into Windows 10.
Windows Privacy Settings
As mentioned above, Windows 10 can also serve as a data harvesting tool. So, the first step you should take is to configure your privacy settings. Please follow these steps to adjust your privacy settings:
- Go to Start > Settings, then choose Privacy.
- There are several options in the Privacy settings area. These options will allow you to activate or deactivate a feature and then choose the processes or apps it should apply.
- Pay attention to the following features:
- Account Info – You should activate two-factor authentication for your Microsoft account.
- Location – Activate this feature only for services or applications that truly require it.
- Other devices – This option will help you specify how network hardware connects and shares data.
Cyber threats are increasing in sophistication, but Microsoft always strives to make Windows a hard nut to crack for cybercriminals. They introduced Windows Defender to protect your system against malware infections. So, you should enable it if you want to save costs and time that go to anti-malware maintenance, operational tasks, upgrades, and servers.
If you have a Microsoft 365 E5 subscription or running Windows 10 Enterprise E5, you will have access to the Defender Security Center Threat Analytics dashboard. The dashboard displays a list of security risks and cyber threats targeted at Windows OS.
System Guard Uses Secure Boot to Protect Your OS
Windows Defender System Guard uses containers to provide the highest level of protection. It prevents malicious bootloaders from running when Windows starts by ensuring that only assigned drivers and files are loaded. The first step to protecting your computer is ensuring Windows isn’t compromised.
To protect users’ identities from exploitation, Microsoft introduced Windows Hello and Credential Guard.
- The Credential Guard protects security tokens and password hashes from being accessed by unauthorized system processes. ‘Pass the token’ and ‘pass the hash’ attacks are usually used by attackers to gain access to the Active Directory.
- Windows Hello is a password alternative, and it utilizes multiple factors, such as PIN, biometrics, and even a companion device, to protect your system.
User Account Control (UAC)
Some changes can be made on your PC without your consent, thus jeopardizing your security. To prevent this situation, keep User Account Control to the highest setting. To do so, please follow the steps below:
- Hit the Start button and type UAC in the search field.
- When the Account Control Settings window opens, tap on the Change user account control settings option.
- Now change it to the highest setting.
Microsoft first introduced the AppLocker in Windows 7, but it was easy to override this tool if you had administrative privileges on the computer. The updated Application Control tool is more robust in Windows 10. For more protection, use it with Exploit Guard’s Memory Integrity.
Apart from this tool, Application Guard also provides additional protection when browsing untrusted websites. It blocks automatic file downloads.
Data Execution Prevention
A malware program wreaks havoc by inserting a malicious payload into your computer memory, hoping that it gets executed later. So, you need to prevent malware from executing in an area meant for information storage. Data Execution Prevention is designed to reduce the range of memory that malware can exploit. Use this tool to prevent most data losses.
To make sure you miss no update, enable the automatic updates in Windows 10. With that said, you may also want to run Windows updates manually to verify that Windows Update truly works. Sometimes Windows Update fails, thus leaving your computer vulnerable. Besides this, there have been concerns about the patchy nature of the Windows 10 update cycle. For this reason, consider setting aside a separate workstation for testing the impact of the cumulative updates.
PC Cleaning and Speed-Up Tool
Part of protecting your computer includes cleaning the registry and removing junk files on your system. This way, you will not only make your PC more secure and protect your privacy, but you will also optimize and speed up your computer.
If you want to clean your computer and set up a privacy lock on it, we strongly recommend that you use Outbyte PC Repair. This tool has some features of antivirus software and other specific features that help you scan and clean your system to prevent random attacks.
For sure, most people are concerned about their confidential information landing in the wrong hands. As we mentioned earlier, cyber attacks are a constant threat to internet users, and for this reason, no antivirus program can make your PC threat-proof. So, using Windows Defender or any other anti-malware program alone isn’t enough. You need to use a complementary tool to add a layer of protection and eliminate traces of your online activity.
As we conclude, security enhancements like these will not only make a compelling case for Windows 10, but they will also guarantee your privacy and protect you from hackers. Fortunately, you have a variety of security tools that could help protect your computer.
Besides this, you should also conduct vulnerability assessments regularly. Having a snapshot of your security posture is valuable in managing emerging threats.